Saturday, 31 May 2014


This week I was going to write about food, a subject close to our hearts (some of us more than others), but, because of the way I have felt this week, I feel I need to write about another subject - "Me". When I started this blog, one of the reasons for doing it was to write down what I was thinking and get it all clear in my head. Now I've reached the half way stage of my journey I need to be a bit self indulgent, so I ask for your forgiveness in advance.
It is now my 24th week since starting "Change 4 Life" and it is now becoming a way of life. This is a good thing because it needs to be a way of life if it is going to be for the long term, but for me there is a "tiny" down side.
There is a tendency to become complacent and with it comes the negativity.
When I started "Change 4 Life" and was attending the initial twelve weeks there was a part of me that thought "twelve weeks, what can I learn in twelve weeks?, Is twelve weeks enough?", but knowing I could go back for support and to be weighed weekly helped me to get my head around this new concept that was so different from the slimming clubs I had been to in the past.
So far it has worked, and worked far better than I thought it would, but here I am in my 24th week feeling a little apathetic for no reason that I can see, other than, perhaps, I am feeling a little stale.
Keeping up the motivation and enthusiasm for a long length of time is not always easy, but I think to move on I have to selfishly look back at what I have already done, and hope that it also helps those of you out there who also have a struggle with what you are trying to achieve.
So far I have lost...
55 1/2 pounds
7 inches from my bust
8 inches from my waist
10 inches from my hips
gone from a UK dress size 26-28 to a UK size 18-20
and even my feet have gone down a shoe size!
My first goal was to lose four stone before our Grandson's first birthday. He was six months old when I started, and is one year old in three weeks time. I only have another half a pound to reach my target.
The icing on the cake, so to speak, was when I went to see my doctor for a medication review and found my Diabetes blood results showed that my sugar levels have dropped down almost to normal levels. My doctor was very pleased and my medication has been reduced. So much has happened this year so far, and sometimes it is difficult for me to take it all in and realize just how much I have benefited. I have so much more energy, can walk a lot easier, and can climb hills with much less difficulty, very handy, given that I live in such a hilly area.
So why do I get so down about a pair of size 18 jeans not fitting?
It is so easy for me to be negative with myself, a "skill" developed over many years growing up and living  with negativity. If I am to succeed this time, it must be something I can conquer. I have so much love and support now and I need to be more positive about the next part of the journey. Writing this I have realized how proud I am of myself and what I have achieved so far. I am told all the time by my husband and family how proud they are of me, but now I am finally beginning to be proud of myself.
As my weight loss starts to slow down I will plan the next changes I will make and set myself a new set of goals. At the moment I look forward to my grandson's birthday and being able to try to keep up with him. And who knows, maybe even a slightly larger slice of birthday cake. 

Monday, 26 May 2014


I wasn't really sure what I was going to write about in this update. Sometimes I do know, but sometimes I have no idea until I try to write it.
This time I started with one idea and then had another idea. So now I've got two ideas but still unsure of which one to go with. A bit like you feel in life sometimes, not sure what you want to do, or what you should do, or even what you think others want you to do.
In the end, this weeks blog is about something that just provoked a strong feeling in me.
I'd read on the internet a couple of weeks ago about a woman who had gone to the BAFTA awards last year to accept an award, and was unhappy that she had been criticised for the way she was dressed. 
She wrote an article about it this year, just before this years BAFTA ceremony, to say how unhappy she was. I don't remember the whole article but what I do remember was that she was saying that because of her dress size (an 18 to 20 UK size) she could not get designer dresses and had gone to a department store to get a dress. She loved the look of it and as she was a comedienne she thought it shouldn't matter what she looked like anyway. After all, the award was for her work, not what she looked like.
Now there is a part of me that agrees with this and a bit of me that doesn't. I remember another comedienne who is also large in size (although she has lost weight over the past few years) but even at her biggest she always looked good and appropriately dressed for where she was.
Sometimes, especially in the media, celebrities are expected to look a certain way and depending on the occasion dress in a certain way. It is what is expected. And there is a good chance that if they looked different then it would be commented on.
In real life, we wouldn't dream of going to a wedding in jeans and a t-shirt if it is a formal do, so whoever you are, the occasion determines how you dress. If you choose to be different then have the confidence to carry it off or know that next time you might be hurt by the comments of people that don't really matter.
Of course, when you're a celebrity, they say that any publicity is good publicity, so it did get her noticed again this year. I do feel for anyone who is hurt by other peoples comments. People are so free to comment about others, especially when it comes to appearances, behaviour or how someone sounds. If you see someone who is really large eating in public, we might think "look at them, do they never stop eating?". We may see someone who is unstable in walking or has slurred speech and assume that they are drunk, when in reality they may be unwell or even have had a stroke. 
I know that I have had times in my life that just because I was large I was made to feel stupid, or not good enough to get a job, to wear a certain dress style, or even allowed to have a valued opinion.
We have the right to be who we want to be, and if we are whoever we are at a certain moment in time, we should be given the dignity and respect we deserve.
There is a saying "You can't change how people treat you, or what they say about you. All you can do is change how you react to it."
Know what you want and how much you want it and even though there are times you feel it's not going to happen, keep going because if it matters you WILL do it.
I once attempted to do A-Level psychology but I never took the exam, there was too much pressure in my life at the time. What I took from it was that things are very rarely what they seem. You never know other people's reasons for why they behave the way that they do, but if you are happy with what you are doing that's all that matters. If not, then do what you can do to  change it - but because you want to, not for someone else.
Next time, less of the heavy stuff. I will be talking about FOOD!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014


Firstly, let me say a big hello and thank you to all of you out there who read my blog. Some of you I know, my family and friends, but many of you I have never met.
When I first started writing this blog it was a way that I could express what was in my head. A way for me to see in writing just what my thoughts were.
I shared the link on Facebook, but never suspected that I would end up with so many people around the world reading it. I have never been one for statistics but since the beginning I have had 1754 page views from ten different countries. To me this is absolutely mind-blowing, but for whatever reasons you read this, thank you. It gives value to the way I feel and I hope it helps you and gives you pleasure to read it.
We all have had things we wanted to change in our lives, and as my regular readers will know by now mine is the state of my health and my weight.  
Any change that you consider important must be a long term change, so it is up to us to change our state of mind accordingly.
I started to look at conventional slimming methods, and I was surprised to discover that in 2012 there were 27 million people in the UK on a weight loss diet at some point that year. There were roughly 60.3 million people in the country at the time, so that is well over one third of the population on a diet. I found that figure quite astonishing, although I shouldn't. It's the norm, it is what we do just before Christmas, just after Christmas, before we go on holiday, etc. etc.
If we only have a few pounds to lose, which ever way we do it, if it makes us feel better there's nothing wrong with that. For those of us that have a lot to lose or find it a problem, it can be a different story.
There have been slimming clubs in this country since the early 1960s and they have helped so many people, but for some like me they were only a short term solution. 
To learn what to eat in a way that will help us to  lose weight is great,but is it the complete answer? 
Since 1954, when food rationing imposed by the Second World War finally ended, we have had more and more different foods to eat and enjoy. We have also had the introduction of numerous labour saving devices to make our lives so much "easier". 
But with this, it seemed came weight gains and the desire to be thin. We could diet, we could exercise, and we'd be happy ever after!
Give one hundred people the same diet to follow word for word and I wonder how many would succeed in the long run?
Anything that is going to be long term needs to fit into your lifestyle. If that's following a particular diet and going to the gym, that's good. If it isn't, don't panic. You haven't failed. You are an individual and nobody knows you like you do. What works for one person, won't work for everyone.
I am beginning to think that learning to change your life should include a chapter on learning to change your mind set.
You need to start to think "OK, I will follow the guide lines, but what will work for ME, the individual?"
If you don't like the gym, but love to dance or love a long walk, there is nothing wrong with that.
You don't always have to conform. Guidelines are great, but freedom to be who we are can help in the long term. Be yourself, find your own path to success.    

Thursday, 15 May 2014


I wrote in my last blog entry about my past attempts at losing weight and why I feel they failed. I thought at the time I was doing the right thing, but I know now it was for all the wrong reasons. Whether it be for a peaceful life or because I was showing someone that I was better than them and better than they were making me out to be.
This time however, I started out with a lot more confidence and feeling stronger than I had been all my life and I had taken 55 years to get here. This time it HAD to work, and for all the right reasons.
So here I was, with at least seven or eight stone to lose. A long journey. How was I going to find the motivation to start, carry on and to keep going. I have a lot of support from my family and friends and that means so much to me, but there are some times when you are on your own. When you are bored, when you are down and when life sends you those horrible dips and troubles and you feel that you could so easily just give up.
I decided in the beginning that I would become "obsessed" and keep my mind focused on the task ahead.
I read all that I could, watched every TV programme going about weight loss and mapped out all I was going to eat each day. Fortunately at the beginning of each year we have so much on TV about how to lose those pounds we have put over Christmas. However, I had a 100 plus pounds to lose. That would take a bit longer.
I settled down to think about this "Change 4 Life". It had to be something that could be done now as a way of life without too much discomfort. Little changes can become big changes with time.
You need to look at how you got to where you are before you can make those changes. I find you need to think about the things that can help you stay motivated.
We are all different and see things in different ways but we can all think about what helps us.
What is good about the "Change 4 Life" way is that no food is banned. You learn that some foods are better than others, but if you still want to eat something now and again you can. I like to pick at food sometimes and now I always try to have "healthy" things that I like in the fridge if I want a snack.
I still have chocolate every so often, only a little bit, but that is my treat.
I get weighed every Thursday, and in the evening I'll have what I want to eat before I start again on Friday morning to be "good" again.
I don't have a set of scales in the house and only get weighed once a week. If I did have scales at home I would be on them four or five times a day. Silly, I know, but that is what I have done in the past. 
What I also do now is wear the charm bracelet that my husband Steve gave me the day before our wedding. Every time I look at it, it helps me to remember that times are better now and I need to have respect for myself and be the person I want to be. It may sound silly, but it works for me.
I read once about a cord you can buy which you tie around your waist and when it becomes tight you know you have eaten too much. A simple reminder of what you are doing, so whatever works for you.
What I think I am saying is we all have things we would like to achieve. As I said earlier we are all different and to reach those goals we need to know who we are and what it is that works for us.
Just knowing who we are can make us so much more confident and stronger and help us to cope with whatever life throws at us. 
I hope that what I have said and my ideas will help you to work out what is good for you.
As for me, well I have my blog to share with you what I do, and if it worked for me, only time will tell. 

Sunday, 11 May 2014


This is my twentieth week since starting Change 4 Life and I have now lost 50 and a half pounds (3 stones 8 and a half pounds). Time seems to have gone so fast when you look back on it, although when you first start it seems to go so slowly. You can't wait for the days and weeks to go by to achieve what it is that you want to.
I started to think about motivation and what gives us the desire to do something and keep at it until we get what we want. Then, I started to think about why it was that in the past when I was motivated to lose weight, I would later put it on again. What were my reasons, were they good enough, and were they mine
I have always been big. I was a big baby and was bullied about my size when I was a child, but apart from not liking P.E. or Sports at school, it never really bothered me. Looking back now I seemed to accept that that was what I was and put up with it. The first time I really thought about losing weight was when I met my first husband, and even then it was really his idea. He said you can't change a face, he thought I had a pretty face, or a personality, but you can change a body and mine needed changing. Being young, I went along with that. I was 13 1/2 stone at the time and went to a slimming club for the first time. This was back in 1975 when I was 17. I lost about three and a half stone and loved the way I looked. I had never looked good before and the feeling was great, but really it had never been my idea, and every time I had an upset with my husband (and there were many) I used to eat to take back control. Over the next few years my weight slowly crept up again. I was married now, with two beautiful children but the nagging never stopped.
I went to a slimming club again around about 1988 by which time my weight had reached about 17 stone. Again I lost weight and felt good for a while but still I was not really happy with my situation. Again my weight slowly went up again and was the cause of many upsets and arguments.
The next time I thought seriously about losing weight was in 2002. My marriage had broken up and we had a big family occasion coming up the following year. So I thought I would take "control" again and lose weight and show my ex-husband that I could do it myself.
At the time I weighed 21 stone. I went to the doctors and I was put on medication to help me lose weight. Over that next year I lost 10 stone, we had the family occasion and I felt a lot stronger after my marriage break up two and half years previously. 
I then met my soon-to-be second husband. We went out, got engaged, and were married within the year, and I was so happy, and still am 11 years later.
I could be myself. I even learnt what being myself really was, and for the first time I had someone who loved me for what I was.
The weight crept back up, but it didn't matter. I did try a couple of times to lose weight, but just couldn't get my head around the stress it caused me. The thing that had troubled me since my early years no longer mattered. I could just be me.
Then as my weight went up, my health started to suffer. In the beginning I was in denial. It didn't matter as I now had the freedom to do as I wanted to after all these years. But I came to realise it DID matter, because if I carried on the way I was doing, I wouldn't be here. 
My grandson was born last year and I wanted to be here for him and for my family. This time, I was the one making the decision to lose weight and for the right reasons. I was doing it for ME, and for my family, but I was the one who wanted to do it.
Hopefully this time I can lose the weight, be healthy and keep the weight off, because it is something that is important to me and this will be the motivation I need to keep it off this time. Only time will tell. 
Next time in part two of this update, I will talk about my motivation and the things I am doing to keep myself motivated, and hopefully keep the pounds off this time. 

Monday, 5 May 2014


I promised last week that I would write this time about food in special events and occasions.
It is something that is always there, laid out on the table, calling out to be eaten, eaten until it's all gone and something that some of us find a real problem. Why, though, should food be a problem?
I am sitting here today, Bank Holiday Monday, a little worn out after spending a wonderful day yesterday celebrating Vaisakhi in Trafalger Square, London with the family. Thank you Steve, Jalminder, Bob-Dan, my beautiful grandson Henry, Amardeep and Suzi for a lovely day of family, sunshine, music and, of course, food.
Vaisahki, sometimes called the Sikh New Year, is the celebration of the beginnings of the Sikh religion as we know it today and also of a new year, new starts, and optimism for the year ahead.
A time to eat  and celebrate, just as many other occasions are.
Food is so important to us at these times, so why is it that so many of us are frightened of it? Why the big deal if we are going to over-indulge and spoil the diet? Those of us that struggle with our weight always say it. "Oh dear, this will spoil the diet", "We will put weight on now" etc., etc.
Food is something we all need. Part of the world doesn't have enough, while part of the world has too much. We all know the story and the saying "Eat to live, not live to eat", but still we can't seem to get things right. If alcohol or smoking are the problem we can try to give them up, and many do successfully, but we can't give food up. We need it to live.
I know myself how difficult it can be to find the right balance, to be able to enjoy good food, and an occasion such as Christmas, a wedding, holidays, parties, or even just a meal out, without having a major brain meltdown when there is all that "naughty" food there.
It sits there calling out to us to eat it, eat it all now What choice do we have? Eat it and have fun or don't and stand there being a misery, missing out on all the fun. Then, the next day, we feel bad. Either because we ate all that we could and now everything is spoilt, or we didn't eat it and couldn't enjoy ourselves while our friends and families did. So, the question is, why do we feel like this?
I ask myself quite often "Why has food become such a big deal, such a weapon of control?". For some it can become such a dangerous place to be in, and I tried for most of my adult life not to make eating food an issue.
I am now beginning to look at my own situation and think that there may be two ways to deal with it. I either eat all I can when these events occur and deal with it the next day i.e. start afresh, or prepare in advance, knowing these events are looming. Of course, there is always the choice of trying to eat the healthy option if there is one, or eating in moderation by having smaller portions. What I'm trying to say is that when it comes to eating we are the ones who have to deal with the situation, we are the ones that can make the choices. I dislike the word control but it is us that can take control of food, and we have the power to stop food from controlling us. We all have our weaknesses, but there is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is that we punish ourselves for giving into those weaknesses. We need to accept that at times we will be weak, after all we are only human. But if we can see this, pick ourselves up and carry on, that is what matters. Special occasions are the times we remember as the years go by. We should always do our best to make sure those are the happiest of memories with as few regrets as possible. After all, food may play a large part in these occasions, but it is only a part. A nice part, but only a part, and not something we should always feel we have to worry about.